IHS’ Valdez voted Second Team All-2A

Ignacio’s Johnny Valdez (13) races around Limon’s Camden Smithburg (5) during regional action inside IHS Gymnasium this season. Valdez was recently named Second Team All-2A.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

Fellow senior named Honorable Mention

In the alphabetical listing, it appears Johnny Valdez was a skin-of-his-teeth choice for the recently-announced 2018 CHSAANow.com/ColoradoPreps.com/MaxPreps All-Class 2A Boys’ Basketball Team.

In actuality, he fell just a few votes short of First Team status.

Either way, Ignacio’s senior shooting guard – named Second Team All-2A, as the seventh-highest vote-getter – couldn’t have been happier to close out his prep career than to help the Bobcats into the State Championships one last time and maybe impress more than a few coaches along the way.

“When I was a sophomore, we played at regionals … played Center, and I came in at the end of the game and was able to help the guys out,” he recalled. “We made it to State that year and that was when I really knew I wanted to be an All-State player, work harder than … my match-up, and this year I think I really did well playing defense as well as offense.”

Playing in all 26 of IHS’ games this winter, Valdez averaged 14.5 points per while shooting a reported 47 percent from the floor. From three-point land, where he was most feared, he was a potent 64-of-151 (42 percent). He also averaged 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game.

“I really owe it to my teammates. Everything we went through this year … they helped me get through it, pushed me to be the best player I really could be, and it ended up working out!” said Valdez. “It’s a real honor. I mean, I played against some of the guys that are on the Team, and they’re all really deserving, great guys.”

One player Valdez felt quite deserving to, at the least, join him as a Second Team All-2A pick was senior center/forward Kai Roubideaux (13.3 ppg, 51 percent FG, 7.1 rpg, 2.4 spg). Able to shine during Ignacio’s three-game State run, but lost for a handful of games due to injury just after New Year’s, Roubideaux—a team-best 79 percent from the free-throw line and also 42 percent accurate from downtown – was named Honorable Mention All-2A.

Mancos sophomore center Caden Showalter joined him in representing the San Juan Basin League as such.

“That injury … he had to come back from it, and he came back really strong,” Valdez said. “He was really a big part of our team this year, just all-around.”

“As a leader – we were pretty much captains for the year – it was great working with Kai, an important experience for me,” he continued. “He led a lot differently than I did, and it worked really well; we had a good dynamic and it was great to just play with a player that’s at that level. Honestly, I feel like he … in the All-State voting, probably should have been top-ten. I’m just really proud of him.”

Ignacio finished 20-6 overall this season, and finished in sixth place at the Championships held in Loveland. Led by Coach-of-the-Year Dave Sheffield, Yuma (25-2) hoisted the first-place trophy after a 59-41 win over Ordway-based Crowley County (25-1) and Player-of-the-Year Bradley Carnes-Clabey.

Information on the 2018 All-SJBL Boys’ Basketball team had not been reported as of press time.

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